Asian Elegance: Elaine and Danny at Hakone Gardens

Elaine and Danny met in College. And then they took their time… more than a decade, actually! When they finally took “the plunge,” they wanted to make it a very special celebration. And for that they found a gem of a wedding venue literally in their backyard. A mere twenty minutes away from their home, there is a magical century-old park – Hakone Gardens, one of the oldest Japanese Gardens in the Western Hemisphere, 18 acres of magnificent Japanese horticulture and historic architecture. I feel so honored that they chose my company, A Day Like No Other, to help them plan and design their beautiful celebration.


koi pond

A heavy wooden gate opens to reveal all that beauty…


which is open for private events like this elegant garden wedding.

After having her hair and makeup expertly done by Tiffany Chiang of Design Her Image, the bride got into her crystal-encrusted wedding dress…

bride… and for her own romantic bouquet as well as the braidesmaids’ bouquet, she had turned to Ingela Floral Design:


At “First Look,” she moved her husband-to-be to tears! Here they are:

couple parasol

While Elaine and Danny were having their pre-ceremony photos taken by Ano and Hagop of Hagop’s Photography (wait until you see THEIR photos!!), guests were greeted at the traditional welcome table…

Welcome table… and then seated for the ceremony with classical guitarist Julio Reyes providing a beautiful musical background.


Officiant Carolyn Selic of Mixed Blessings is awaiting the couple… and here comes the Bride!

here comes the bride 2

ceremony couple

ceremony 4

just married!Just married!

While guests were exploring the beautiful gardens, enjoying Champagne and nibbling delicious little bites from Eisenhauer Catering, and while the couple had even more photos taken…

couple garden

moon bridge

… my assistant Quan and I were super busy getting everything set up and ready for the reception on the “Madrone Mound,” surrounded by mature trees and bamboo hedges and by the authentic Japanese buildings on site (all exact replicas of historic architecture):

courtyard string lights


centerpiece 2

Centerpieces in peach tones by A Day Like No Other and an escort card set-up…

escort cards

… and a cake by Euro Delights Bakery:


The newlyweds got their own special table, of course:

swtht tble

In lieu of a dance floor, bride and groom had requested a children’s play area right in the middle of the dinner tables, and surprise performances by the bride’s sister and brother-in-law and a funny slide show made the celebration very personal.

As dusk fell, the overhead string lights by Bay Area Event Lights gave the scene a magical glow…

string lights

… and at the end of the evening, guests lined up with myriads of glow sticks to send the newlyweds off to their married bliss.

Many happy years together, Elaine and Danny, and our best wishes on your way!